Friday, October 20, 2017

Review - Berserker by Emmy Laybourne @EmmyLaybourne @FeiwelFriends @FierceReads

Berserker by Emmy Laybourne
Series: Berserker #1
Publisher: Macmillan Children's Publishing Group/Feiwel & Friends
Publication Date: October 10, 2017
Date Read: October 19, 2017
Length: 288 pages
Source: NetGalley
★★★★☆
Are Hanne's powers a gift from the old Norse gods, or a curse?

Her brother Stieg swears their powers are a gift from the old gods, but Hanne Hemstad knows she is truly cursed. It's not Stieg's fault that their father is dead, their mother has left, and their brother Knut has been accused of a crime he didn't commit.

No, the fault lies with Hanne and her inability to control her murderous "gift"--she is a Berserker. When someone she loves is threatened, she flies into a killing state. The siblings must leave Norway for the American frontier or risk being brought to justice.

Aided by a young cowboy who agrees to be their guide, Hanne and her siblings use their powers to survive the perilous trail, where blizzards, wild animals, and vicious bounty hunters await.

Will they be able to reach their uncle, the one man Hanne believes may be able to teach her how to control her drive to kill? With Berserker, Emmy Laybourne, the author of Monument 14, presents her vision of an American west studded with Viking glory.

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/23014705-does-this-beach-make-me-look-fat
My Review

This was an excellent book!  I was really quite surprised by just how much I ended up liking this one.  I try to go into books as blindly as possible so I didn't read the summary of this book too closely and as a result, I was really quite surprised by some of the turns the story ended up taking.  This was the kind of book that I found myself reaching anytime I had a moment to spare.  I am so glad that I took a chance on this gem of a book.

Hanne and her siblings posses a gift.  Or maybe a curse depending on how you look at it.  Hanne doesn't see it as a gift.  She is a Berserker which means that anytime someone she cares for is in danger she loses control to the Nytte and people die.   Hanne doesn't want to be someone who kills so she really struggles with this gift.  She must eventually flee Norway with her siblings after one of her murderous rages.

I really liked the characters in this story.  Hanne was so easy to like and her struggle with her different sides felt authentic.  Her elder brother, Stieg, has his own gift which proves to be rather useful to the family.  Stieg is a really even tempered and intelligent man.  Knut also has a gift and is the quietest of the siblings but he possessed a certain wisdom.  Sissel was the youngest sibling and the most difficult of the group.  I am not sure that I really cared for her character but I think she added a needed element to the group. 

When I started reading this book, I had no idea that the story would soon shift to the American frontier.  The change in setting was really well done.  I could completely envision the small towns and wilderness that this group encountered.   I think the combination of the frontier setting and the Norse mythology worked perfectly in this little story and I found it to be really exciting.  There were a few sections of the book that were a bit more violent that I would have expected but it worked well with the story. 

I would highly recommend this book to others.  This book is listed as being the first in a series but this story stands on its own.  This was the first book written by Emmy Laybourne that I have had the chance to read but I am eager to read more of her work including future installments in this series.

I received an advance reader copy of this book from Macmillan Children's Publishing Group - Feiwel & Friends via NetGalley.
About the Author

Emmy Laybourne, author of Sweet and the Monument 14 trilogy, is a writer and actress. She lives in Upstate New York with her husband, two kids, and a flock of six nifty chickens.

Author Links: Website | Goodreads | Facebook | Twitter

Thursday, October 19, 2017

Audiobook Review - Gunmetal Magic by Ilona Andrews @ilona_andrews #katedaniels

Gunmetal Magic by Ilona Andrews
Narrated by Renee Raudman
Series: Kate Daniels #5.5
Publisher: Tantor Audio
Publication Date:  July 31, 2012
Date Read: September 22, 2017 (2nd read)
Length:  12 hours 43 minutes
Source: Audible Purchase
After being kicked out of the Order of the Knights of Merciful Aid, Andrea's whole existence is in shambles. She tries to put herself back together by working for Cutting Edge, a small investigative firm owned by her best friend. When several shapeshifters working for Raphael Medrano-the male alpha of the Clan Bouda, and Andrea's former lover-die unexpectedly at a dig site, Andrea is assigned to investigate. Now she must work with Raphael as her search for the killer leads into the secret underbelly of supernatural Atlanta. And dealing with her feelings for him might have to take a back seat to saving the world.
My Review

I enjoyed this book.  This was a re-read for me and I had a lot of fun re-visiting this book since I know what will happen to these wonderful characters as the series moves forward.  I do remember being slightly disappointed when this book was first published simply because I wanted another book featuring Kate and Curran and I got Andrea instead.  I ended up loving the book though.

Andrea and Kate are best friends so their lives overlap in a lot of areas but Andrea does have her own story to tell and I am glad that Ilona Andrews made the decision to let her do just that in this book.  Andrea is not in a great place as this book opens.  Her relationship with Raphael is over and she has lost her job with the Order.  Both of these things meant the world to her and helped shaped her identity.

Andrea is working with Kate at their new agency, Cutting Edge, when she gets a call about a new case.  This new case just happens to be tied to Raphael which only proves to make things more interesting.  Throw in some strange snake people and a complex mystery and you have plenty of excitement.  All the action is nicely balanced with a bit of humor and romance.

I really enjoyed seeing Kate, Curran, and all of the other characters from a different perspective.  I think that Andrea is in a unique position to give that perspective because she is close to a lot of the key characters but she still feels and acts like an outsider.  Andrea grows a lot as a character over the course of this book and the insight into her background really helps with understanding some of the ways that she looks at the world.

Renee Raudman does a fabulous job with this series.  It is funny that I didn't really care for her narration for the first couple of books in the series but now I couldn't imagine anyone else.  She really is able to perform a wide range of characters very well and with a lot of emotion.  She has a very pleasant voice that is easy to listen to for hours at a time.

I highly recommend this series to others.  This is a series that you do need to read in order since each book builds on the last.  This is a very important book in the overall story arc and should not be missed.  I can't wait to continue with my re-read of this wonderful series.

The Series

Book #8.5 - Magic Stars
Book #9 - Magic Binds 
Click the links above to read my other review of this series!
About the Author

Ilona Andrews” is the pseudonym for a husband-and-wife writing team. Ilona is a native-born Russian and Gordon is a former communications sergeant in the U.S. Army. Contrary to popular belief, Gordon was never an intelligence officer with a license to kill, and Ilona was never the mysterious Russian spy who seduced him. They met in college, in English Composition 101, where Ilona got a better grade. (Gordon is still sore about that.)

Gordon and Ilona currently reside in Texas with their two children and many dogs and cats.

They have co-authored two NYT and USAT bestselling series, the urban fantasy of Kate Daniels and romantic urban fantasy of The Edge and working on the next volumes for both.


Author Links: Website | Goodreads | Facebook | Twitter

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Review - Two for the Show by Megan Derr

Two for the Show by Megan Derr
Series: Lovesongs #4
Publisher: Less Than Three Press
Publication Date: October 18, 2017
Date Read: October 13, 2017
Source: NetGalley
★★★☆☆
Nikko needs a scandal. Something, anything, that will keep media eyes on him and far away from the fight for his deadbeat brother's children. When he sees Jake Hallow in a bar, it seems a perfect solution. What would cause more noise than planting a kiss on a ruler-straight country star? He didn't expect Jake to kiss him back.

Jake's faced a lot of surprises in the forty-four years he's been alive. But being kissed senseless by the beautiful Nikko Star is something else entirely, and he doesn't at all know what to do with the long-banked feelings that Nikko turns into a blaze. Or the disappointment he feels when he learns the real reason Nikko kissed him.

But hearing Nikko's story, Jake decides to help, and agrees to give the world a fake love affair for the sake of protecting a couple of kids. And he's always believed in putting on one hell of a show—no matter how much it leaves him hurting when the lights go down.

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/23014705-does-this-beach-make-me-look-fat
My Review

I liked this story.  I don't read a whole lot of M/M romances but I do enjoy them every once in a while.  The cover of this book really grabbed my attention when I first saw it and after reading the description, I knew that I wanted to give it a try.  This book is the fourth book in a series but it can easily be read as a stand alone novel.  This was a quick read that really had me excited to see the characters make things work.

I liked the characters in this book quite a bit.  Nikko and Jake were so good together and I liked the chemistry that they shared.  They were very different from each other but seemed to really compliment the other.  They are both at a spot in their lives where a lot of things are changing but in very different ways.  Nikko is headed out of the spotlight to focus on family while Jake is trying to figure out what project he will pursue next.

I did wish that there would have been a bit more of this pair together.  We do see Nikko and Jake spending time together in the book but they also spend time apart.  It just felt like they were apart for the wrong reasons and a conversation could have cleared a lot up.  I would have liked to see a bit more resolution to the story.  These two have a lot to work out with the kids, Jake's new role, and trying to be a couple and I would have liked to see a bit of that.  It almost felt more like a happily for now instead of the happily ever after I was hoping for.

I would recommend this book to others.  It was a nice quick read with great characters.  There were a few points in the story that the writing felt a bit awkward to me but there were no major concerns.  I would read more from Megan Derr in the future and would be interested in reading some of the earlier books in this series.

I received an advance reader copy of this book from Less Than Three Press via NetGalley.
About the Author

Megan is a long time resident of LGBTQ fiction, and keeps herself busy reading, writing, and publishing it. She is often accused of fluff and nonsense. When she’s not involved in writing, she likes to cook, harass her cats, or watch movies. She loves to hear from readers, and can be found all over the internet.

Author Links: Website | Goodreads | Facebook | Twitter

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

New Releases - October 17, 2017 #newreleases #newbooks


It's Tuesday!  That means it is time to make a little bit of room on the bookshelves, load up your ereader, or make your way to your local library.  In other words - It is time to get your hands on a new book!

Here are just a few books that have just been released that you may want to grab soon:


Slap Shot by Kelly Jamieson

Find it at:
Goodreads | Booklikes | LibraryThing
My name’s Max Hall, and I need to f***. As a pro hockey player who’s been away from the game for over a year, my libido has picked one hell of an an inconvenient time to come roaring back to life.

After my wife died from a rare form of cancer, sex was the last thing on my mind. Same with hockey, the other love of my life. Now, after fifteen months of eating too much, drinking too much, and generally just feeling sorry for myself, I’m facing a steep uphill battle to get my ass in shape and play my way back onto the Chicago Aces.

So I’m not looking for a relationship. Just sex. Yeah, I know how that makes me sound. But the truth is, I’ll never love another woman the way I loved my wife. When I meet a sexy bridesmaid at my teammate’s wedding, I decide to scratch that itch. A fling with Kendra Armstrong in her posh hotel room could be just what the trainer ordered.

Not only is Kendra smokin’ hot, she’s dynamite in bed—one of the perks of being a sex toy designer. Since she lives in New York anyway, we agree to keep things casual, no strings attached. The arrangement is perfect . . . until one of us falls in love. And it’s not me.


Righteous by Joe Ide

Find it at:
In this hotly anticipated follow-up to the smash hit IQ, a New York Times Critics' Best of the Year and nominee for the Best First Novel Edgar Award, Isaiah uncovers a secret behind the death of his brother, Marcus.
For ten years, something has gnawed at Isaiah Quintabe's gut and kept him up nights, boiling with anger and thoughts of revenge. Ten years ago, when Isaiah was just a boy, his brother was killed by an unknown assailant. The search for the killer sent Isaiah plunging into despair and nearly destroyed his life. Even with a flourishing career, a new dog, and near-iconic status as a PI in his hometown, East Long Beach, he has to begin the hunt again-or lose his mind.
A case takes him and his volatile, dubious sidekick, Dodson, to Vegas, where Chinese gangsters and a terrifying seven-foot loan shark are stalking a DJ and her screwball boyfriend. If Isaiah doesn't find the two first, they'll be murdered. Awaiting the outcome is the love of IQ's life: fail, and he'll lose her. Isaiah's quest is fraught with treachery, menace, and startling twists, and it will lead him to the mastermind behind his brother's death, Isaiah's own sinister Moriarty.
With even more action, suspense, and mind-bending mysteries than Isaiah's first adventures, Righteous is a rollicking, ingenious thrill ride.

Deadlands: Boneyard by Seanan McGuire

Find it at:
Goodreads | Booklikes | LibraryThing
The newest book based on the hit Weird West RPG franchise Deadlands!

Step right up to see the oddities and marvels of The Blackstone Family Circus and Travelling Wonder Show! Gasp at pit wasps the size of a man’s forearm. Beware the pumpkin-headed corn stalker, lest it plant its roots in you!

Annie Pearl is the keeper of oddities, the mistress of monsters. Her unique collection of creatures is one of the circus’s star attractions, drawing wide-eyed crowds at every small frontier town they visit. But Annie is also a woman running from her past . . . and the mother of a mute young daughter, Adeline, whom she will do anything to protect.

Hoping to fill its coffers before winter sets in, the circus steers its wagons to The Clearing, a remote community deep in the Oregon wilderness, surrounded by an ominous dark wood. Word is that a traveling show can turn a tidy profit at The Clearing, but there are whispers, too, of unexplained disappearances that afflict one out of every four shows that pass through the town.

The Clearing has it secrets, and so does Annie. And it may take everything she has to save her daughter―and the circus―from both.

A gripping tale of the Weird West, set on the haunted frontier of DEADLANDS, the award-winning game from Pinnacle Entertainment Group.

Little Secrets by Anna Snoekstra

Find it at:
Goodreads | Booklikes | LibraryThing
What happens when ambition trumps the truth?

A town reeling in the wake of tragedy

An arsonist is on the loose in Colmstock, Australia, most recently burning down the town's courthouse and killing a young boy who was trapped inside..

An aspiring journalist desperate for a story

The clock is ticking for Rose Blakey. With nothing but rejections from newspapers piling up, her job pulling beers for cops at the local tavern isn't nearly enough to cover rent. Rose needs a story-a big one.

Little dolls full of secrets

In the weeks after the courthouse fire, precise porcelain replicas of Colmstock's daughters begin turning up on doorsteps, terrifying parents and testing the limits of the town's already fractured police force.

Rose may have finally found her story. But as her articles gain traction and the boundaries of her investigation blur, Colmstock is seized by a seething paranoia. Soon, no one is safe from suspicion. And when Rose's attention turns to the mysterious stranger living in the rooms behind the tavern, neighbor turns on neighbor and the darkest side of self-preservation is revealed.
More Great Books Being Released Today
(Covers link to Goodreads)
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/34051971-lilac-lane?ac=1&from_search=truehttps://www.goodreads.com/book/show/32766533-scored?from_search=true#https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/35127986-ruthless-king?ac=1&from_search=truehttps://www.goodreads.com/book/show/35266699-in-too-deep?ac=1&from_search=true

What new releases are you excited about this week?

Monday, October 16, 2017

Review - Devils & Thieves by Jennifer Rush @Jenn_Rush @TheNovl #DevilsandThieves

Devils & Thieves by Jennifer Rush
Series: Devils & Thieves #1
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Publication Date: October 3, 2017
Date Read: October 15, 2017
Length: 336 pages
Source: Publisher - The Novl
★★★★☆
Eighteen-year-old Jemmie Carmichael has grown up surrounded by magic in the quiet town of Hawthorne, New York. In her world, magic users are called "kindled," and Jemmie would count herself among them if only she could cast a simple spell without completely falling apart. It doesn't help that she was also recently snubbed by Crowe, the dangerous and enigmatic leader of the Black Devils kindled motorcycle gang and the unofficial head of their turf.

When the entire kindled community rolls into Hawthorne for an annual festival, a rumor begins spreading that someone is practicing forbidden magic. Then people start to go missing. With threats closing in from every side, no one can be trusted. Jemmie and Crowe will have to put aside their tumultuous history to find their loved ones, and the only thing that might save them is the very flaw that keeps Jemmie from fully harnessing her magic. For all her years of feeling useless, Jemmie may just be the most powerful kindled of all.

My Review

This was an entertaining read!  As soon as I read the description for this book, I knew that it was one that I would have to read.  Motorcycle gangs and magic...yes, please!  It took me a while to read this book but that had everything to do with my personal life and nothing to do with the book.  One I really had the chance to sit down with the book, I ended up reading the final 2/3 of the story in a single day and really enjoyed the experience.

Jemmie lives in a world filled with magic.  It can be hard for her sometimes because she does not want to use her magic and being around magic makes her feel ill at times.  She has never really worked to hard at learning to control and use her own magic and has instead focused on self-medicating to cope with being around magic.

Jemmie has ties to the Black Devils group through her best friend, Alex, and her brother, Crowe.  A gathering of the different groups has tensions at a high.  Things get even more intense when several people go missing and nobody knows who to trust.  Jemmie finds herself at the center of the mystery and is determined to help Crowe find out what is happening before it is too late.

There is a bit of a love triangle in this book.   Jemmie and Crowe seem to belong together from the very start of the story even though they don't seem to realize it.  There is another guy that seems to want a chance with Jemmie but I never really felt like he was a serious contender.  Jemmie and Crowe do seem to have a lot of chemistry and I can't wait to see more of them together.

I would recommend this book to others.  I thought that the world was rather interesting and the mystery was pretty exciting.  I wouldn't say that this book ends in a cliffhanger but it did leave me pretty eager for the next book so that I can see what happens next.  I definitely plan to read more from Jennifer Rush soon.

I received an advance reader edition of this book from Little, Brown Books for Young Readers via TheNovl.com.
About the Author

Jennifer Rush is the author of Devils & Thieves and the Altered Saga. She currently lives in Michigan with her family, where the winters make her grumpy and the summers make her forget the winters. When not writing, she can be found curled up with a good book or out wandering, either by foot or by car. She dreams of seeing the world someday (as long as it's not winter).

Author Links: Website | Goodreads | Facebook | Twitter

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Heartbreak

I have been not been doing a very impressive job staying on top of things blog-wise for the last little bit and I am sorry about that.  My daughter's marching band is very demanding of parents and has taken up a lot of my time.  It almost feels like a part time job right now.  That should be over around October 25 so please bear with me.  

My family has also been dealing some very tragic news for the past few days.  My cousin's 2 year old grandson died in an accident Friday and the grief is overwhelming.  My cousin played a very important role in my childhood and while I never had the chance to meet this little beautiful boy, my heart is breaking for her and her family right now.  I can't even imagine the kind of pain those who knew and loved this boy are going through right now.  


I have decided that this is probably the right time for me to take a bit of a break. I hope that after a few days I can get myself back on track.  Thank you for your patience and understanding.

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

New Releases - October 10, 2017 #newreleases #newbooks


It's Tuesday!  That means it is time to make a little bit of room on the bookshelves, load up your ereader, or make your way to your local library.  In other words - It is time to get your hands on a new book!

Here are just a few books that have just been released that you may want to grab soon:


Berserker by Emmy Laybourne

Find it at:
Goodreads | Booklikes | LibraryThing
Are Hanne's powers a gift from the old Norse gods, or a curse?

Her brother Stieg swears their powers are a gift from the old gods, but Hanne Hemstad knows she is truly cursed. It's not Stieg's fault that their father is dead, their mother has left, and their brother Knut has been accused of a crime he didn't commit.

No, the fault lies with Hanne and her inability to control her murderous "gift"--she is a Berserker. When someone she loves is threatened, she flies into a killing state. The siblings must leave Norway for the American frontier or risk being brought to justice.

Aided by a young cowboy who agrees to be their guide, Hanne and her siblings use their powers to survive the perilous trail, where blizzards, wild animals, and vicious bounty hunters await.

Will they be able to reach their uncle, the one man Hanne believes may be able to teach her how to control her drive to kill? With Berserker, Emmy Laybourne, the author of Monument 14, presents her vision of an American west studded with Viking glory.


Turtles All the Way Down by John Green

Find it at:
Sixteen-year-old Aza never intended to pursue the mystery of fugitive billionaire Russell Pickett, but there’s a hundred-thousand-dollar reward at stake and her Best and Most Fearless Friend, Daisy, is eager to investigate. So together, they navigate the short distance and broad divides that separate them from Russell Pickett’s son, Davis.

Aza is trying. She is trying to be a good daughter, a good friend, a good student, and maybe even a good detective, while also living within the ever-tightening spiral of her own thoughts.

In his long-awaited return, John Green, the acclaimed, award-winning author of Looking for Alaska and The Fault in Our Stars, shares Aza’s story with shattering, unflinching clarity in this brilliant novel of love, resilience, and the power of lifelong friendship.

The Dirty Book Club by Lisi Harrison

Find it at:
Goodreads | Booklikes | LibraryThing
From the #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Clique series comes a novel about the importance of friendship, and, of course, the pleasure of a dirty book.

M.J. Stark’s life is picture-perfect—she has her dream job as a magazine editor, a sexy doctor boyfriend, and a glamorous life in New York City. But behind her success, there is a debilitating sense of loneliness. So when her boss betrays her and her boyfriend offers her a completely new life in California, she trades her cashmere for caftans and gives it a try. Once there, M.J. is left to fend for herself in a small beach town, with only the company of her elderly neighbor, Gloria, and an ocean that won’t shut up.

One afternoon, M.J. discovers that Gloria has suddenly moved to Paris with her friends to honor a fifty-year-old pact. And in lieu of a goodbye, she’s left a mysterious invitation to a secret club—one that only reads erotic books. Curious, M.J. accepts and meets the three other hand-selected club members. As they bond over naughty bestsellers and the shocking letters they inherited from the original club members, the four strangers start to divulge the intimate details of their own lives… and as they open up, they learn that friendship might just be the key to rewriting their own stories: all they needed was to find each other first.

The Rules of Magic by Alice Hoffman

Find it at:
Goodreads | Booklikes | LibraryThing
Find your magic

For the Owens family, love is a curse that began in 1620, when Maria Owens was charged with witchery for loving the wrong man.

Hundreds of years later, in New York City at the cusp of the sixties, when the whole world is about to change, Susanna Owens knows that her three children are dangerously unique. Difficult Franny, with skin as pale as milk and blood red hair, shy and beautiful Jet, who can read other people’s thoughts, and charismatic Vincent, who began looking for trouble on the day he could walk.

From the start Susanna sets down rules for her children: No walking in the moonlight, no red shoes, no wearing black, no cats, no crows, no candles, no books about magic. And most importantly, never, ever, fall in love. But when her children visit their Aunt Isabelle, in the small Massachusetts town where the Owens family has been blamed for everything that has ever gone wrong, they uncover family secrets and begin to understand the truth of who they are. Back in New York City each begins a risky journey as they try to escape the family curse.

The Owens children cannot escape love even if they try, just as they cannot escape the pains of the human heart. The two beautiful sisters will grow up to be the revered, and sometimes feared, aunts in Practical Magic, while Vincent, their beloved brother, will leave an unexpected legacy.
More Great Books Being Released Today
(Covers link to Goodreads)
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/33641244-the-powerhttps://www.goodreads.com/book/show/34066619-christmas-at-little-beach-street-bakeryhttps://www.goodreads.com/book/show/34466880-how-i-lost-youhttps://www.goodreads.com/book/show/29523636-dare-mighty-things?ac=1&from_search=true

What new releases are you excited about this week?
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...